KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Nov. 15, 2021) – The NCAA has sent a letter denying an urgent request from United Soccer Coaches for a change to this year’s DIII women and men’s soccer championships to have a day of rest between the finals and semifinals for both safety and an improved championship experience for student athletes.

“Our Division III coaches asked us to advocate on their behalf after years of going through the NCAA system directly to get this change made,” said Lynn Berling-Manuel, CEO of United Soccer Coaches. “This issue is too important to let languish. The NCAA’s response is tepid and disappointing but we will not drop this until our DIII coaches get the safety and experience they want for their players.”

The NCAA was responding to a letter from United Soccer Coaches sent Nov. 8 to NCAA Executive Director Mark Emmert outlining the reasons and urgently asking for the change for this year. United Soccer Coaches offered to pay the $20,000 projected expenses for the additional rest day and have since sent a response sharing their disappointment in the denial. 

“I’m disappointed the NCAA seemed to have no sense of urgency. However, I was incredibly gratified for the response from coaches, alumni, parents and players on the need for this change,” said Berling-Manuel. “What our association will do is keep this issue in front of NCAA, school and conference officials, student athletes, coaches and parents. It is not going away.”

The 2021 NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships will be held Dec. 3-4 at UNCG Soccer Stadium in Greensboro, N.C.